Industry

Bombardier has confirmed that the buyer of 5 Global 6000 jets ordered late last year is CDB Leasing, a subsidiary of China Development Bank (CDB). Bombardier revealed the previously unidentified customer for the $293-million order in an announcement made in late February.

NBAA has changed the name of its largest annual US show to "Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition"—or BACE. The name change was brought about to be more in line with the organization's other shows around the globe, like EBACE, ABACE and LABACE. Originally referred to simply as the organization's "annual meeting," NBAA's first convention took place in Sep 1947. Since then it has grown in size, becoming the 5th largest show in the US, according to Trade Show Executive magazine.

Daher-Socata has announced enhancements to the TBM850 Elite for all 2013 models. The company certified the TBM­850 Elite version in Jul 2012. It included enhancements allowing operators to alter the passenger cabin to meet individual trip needs.

The TBM850 can be reconfigured into a 4-seat cabin in about 30 min, tripling the luggage volume capacity and doubling the maximum luggage weight. The Elite model also includes options for a long-range KHF1050 HF radio and Garmin's GSR56 Iridium satellite transceiver.

This February, Daher-Socata announced several further enhancements, including integration of L3 Avionics' Trilogy ESI2000 electronic standby instrument (ESI), which replaces the previous electromechanical instrument version. In addition, the 2013 model has expanded interior color choices and options for a deluxe leather interior with a storage cabinet, wooden or carbon-fiber fittings, and 14-volt DC power plugs.

The optional package also comes with an extended maintenance program, which lowers scheduled maintenance costs for 5 years or 1000 hrs, according to the company.

Bombardier has moved deliveries of the Learjet 85 to the summer of 2014. According to a company spokesman, the delay is due to unexpected challenges experienced during assembly of the new design. As of mid-March, the company says the fuselage has been fully assembled, the wings are attached, and some aircraft systems had been powered up. Bombardier has not provided an estimated date for the start of structural or flight testing.

AgustaWestland has released photo­graphs and preliminary details of its "Project Zero" electric-powered tiltrotor technology demonstrator. Designed and built in under 6 months, the prototype was flown in secrecy several times during 2011 and 2012, having performed its first unmanned tethered flight in Jun 2011 at the manufacturer's Cascina Costa facility.

The aircraft's 2 integrated rotors, which are embedded within a flying-wing-type structure, can be tilted through more than 90 degrees to achieve the transition from vertical to forward flight.

The rotors are driven by electric motors powered by rechargeable batteries. All control systems, flight control and landing gear actuators are electrically powered, removing the need for any hydraulic system.
When on the ground, the rotors can be tilted forward and the aircraft pointed into wind to allow the rotors to windmill and recharge the aircraft's electrical storage device.

The electrical drive system eliminates the need for a heavy transmission system such as that required by a conventional rotorcraft.

The wings provide most of the lift during cruise. AgustaWestland notes that the outer wings are detachable for missions that will be performed primarily in helicopter mode. Pitch and roll control in forward flight are provided by elevons, while the V-tail provides longitudinal stability. —Phil Rose

Beechcraft has emerged from Chapter 11 with a new name and a narrower product focus. An announcement was made on Feb 19 saying that the company's restructured product portfolio includes only turboprop and piston aircraft—the King Air family (350i, 250 and C90­GTx), the T6/AT6 military trainer, the Baron G58 and Bonanza G36. The company's jet product line has been completely shelved and industry experts say the business jet unit will eventually be sold. Leadership at the company remains the same, with Bob Johnson serving as chairman.

Avionics

DAC Intl has received product approval from the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau for its Gen-X EFB hardware and touchpanel display. The Gen-X hardware is an avionics certified PC, suitable for other applications when installed into an aircraft.

The product was developed to compliment a helicopter moving map and autotracking system designed by Navicom Aviation Corp based in Tokyo, Japan. The new interface with autotracking system enables the transmission of character messages from air to ground, including registered position from air to ground, without the need for an additional interface unit.

Intl Communications Group (IGC) has received ISO9001:2008 and AS9100:2009 Rev-C accreditation for its quality management system. IGC has indicated that the certification provided a number of ancillary benefits as well, including cost savings obtained through improved efficiencies and productivity, elimination of waste, and a reduction in rejected work.

MRO services

West Star Aviation has announced the completion of its first Rockwell Collins Skybox AMSU 5100 installation on a G550. The cabin avionics unit allows passengers to share movies, TV shows and music wirelessly and on demand, using an onboard Apple iTunes library.


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